[LISTEN] Bryanston High School sexual abuse case handled 'badly'

Women & Men Against Child Abuse has accused the Gauteng Education Department and the School Governing Body at Bryanston High School of badly handling sexual abuse allegations at the school.

The accused teacher was axed last week, following a disciplinary process.

It’s understood the alleged incidents took place throughout 2017 and 2018 during netball matches and on school outings.

Speaking to Joanne Joseph on the Afternoon Drive in January, Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said he was happy with the the way the issue was being handled and that a case had been opened with police.

READ: JHB school suspends teacher accused of sex assaults against pupils

Founder and director of WMACA Miranda Friedman claims the process of taking statements was delayed and that parents were dissuaded to continue with a criminal charge.

A statement has not yet been given by the SGB regarding the sexual abuse. They also then put the disciplinary process before the criminal process and this was done despite the fact that a representative from the GDE came to the school, also with a union, and spoke to them following the procedure.

Miranda Friedman, Founder and director - WMACA

As far as reporting to the police is concerned, we are aware that it was delayed, they only started taking statements as of 10 days ago and now have one from the principal and one or two of the teachers, there are four teachers who need to make statements here. The SDF still do not have those statements which need to be added, the two girls that went and followed the disciplinary process.

Miranda Friedman, Founder and director - WMACA

As far as we are concerned the SGB dissuaded the parents and the girls to go with the criminal case which really is against the law and rather go with a disciplinary.

Miranda Friedman, Founder and director - WMACA

Responding to the claims, GDE spokesperson Steve Mabona says they will go back to the school to verify the role that the SGB played as far as taking the statements of some of the other victims.

It is quite concerning, what we are hearing here.

Steve Mabona, spokesperson - Gauteng Education Department

As for the other two that did not open cases and we hear they were persuaded not to do that, that is wrong. We will go back to the school just to verify the role that the SGB played as far as the other two learners.

Steve Mabona, Spokesperson - Gauteng Education Department

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